Tennessee & Georgia Summer Travels

Billy Seidl

The Senior Ruffnecks are busy in the Perfect Game 17U WWBA in Emerson, GA where they are off to a 1-2 start, having played three terrific baseball games.  Over 30 college coaches and professional scouts watched at Aviation Complex in Marietta, Georgia as Billy Seidl battled a lineup from Louisiana that featured 7 SEC commits.  The Ruffnecks gave as good as they got in a game that featured 6 hits by both teams, and errorless baseball by the Ruffnecks.  Seidl, a Northeast Area Code selection, did not disappoint as he featured his 90-93 mph fastball with an effective breaking ball and change.  Dante Taylor had two hits for the Ruffnecks, and Jackson Emus swung the bat well.  The Senior ‘Necks have played well during their 16 day road trip.  The team practices almost daily while on the road.  They cruised through the Elite Round Robin in Georgia with a 4-0 record and not giving up a single run.  Will Greer pitched well in front of numerous college recruiters on Saturday, June 30 in a 10-2 win.  Greer’s fastball is also ticking up toward the 90 range.  The team continues to play hard in a tough pool bracket.

15s and 16s in Music City

15U Justin Masteralexis

Meanwhile, the 15U Ruffnecks and the 16U Ruffnecks continue to grind through a demanding schedule in the heat at the Music City Classic in Nashville, TN.  Both squads played 5 game in 3 days… a challenge for the 15U roster in particular.  Coaches Graber (15U) and Fredericks (16U) are two of the finest coaches in our region, with a focus on teaching, development, and understanding.  Each has managed the rosters with care and competitive edge.  The 16s came off a tournament at home (the 17U PG Super25) in which they reached the championship game by playing three games on Wednesday, June 27.  They then boarded a flight at 5:30am Thursday morning for Nashville, played two games on Thursday, and three more between Friday and Saturday.  The schedule is a challenge to say the least.  Nevertheless, the pitching is beginning to fall into place with fine efforts from Henry Gustavson (‘20), Seamus Barrett (‘20), and Ben Reyes (‘20).  Raul Diaz (‘21), Jack Beverly (‘20), Lucas Stowe (‘20), and Kevin Skagerlind (‘20) are hitting well.

The 15U Ruffnecks continue to surprise and surpass expectations.  A complete game pitching effort from Tommy Leimkuhler (‘21) led the Ruffnecks 5-3 past the same East Cobb Astros 16U team that locked up with the Ruffnecks “Seniors” last week in a 2-1 victory for the Astros!  The ‘Necks did not stop with that surprise win.  Two additional victories defined the Music City trip, along with a disappointing 6-5 walk-off loss.  In the final game of the trip, the 15U ‘Necks were simply out of gas, and lost a 6th inning 4-0 lead to go down to a 9-4 defeat.  The trip has been very positive nonetheless.  The catching duo of Levi McAllister (‘21) and Andy Pelc (‘21) have been spectacular.  Justin Masteralexis (‘21) and Sammy Hill (‘21) continue to contribute to the offense.  Pitchers Sammy Rosenfield (‘21), Masteralexis, Hill, Jack Carney (‘20), and Skyler Bordiuk (‘21) have contributed on the mound.

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Former MLB Pitcher Gomes to Join Staff

Wayne Gomes at 13U/14U Practice

Former Major League Baseball pitcher, Wayne Gomes, is set to join the Ruffnecks coaching staff this summer as pitching coach for the Seniors/17U squad.  He joins skipper John Toffey, and assistants Brendan Casey and John Brickley.  With “Brick” and Gomes, the Ruffnecks have two men with MLB experience to mentor our players during the summer season.  Mr. Gomes enjoyed a 6 year career in the Major Leagues, mostly with the Phillies.  He pitched for the Boston Red Sox in 2002.  After retiring from baseball, Gomes built a successful business with his wife in the health care industry in his home state of Virginia.  He also founded the Virginia Baseball Academy in his home town of Hampton, VA where he remains active instructing and working with young athletes.  Gomes is a graduate of Old Dominion University and is in the school’s Sports Hall of Fame.  He was also inducted into the Hampton Roads African American Hall of Fame in 2010.

“The addition of a pitching coach with these credentials is huge for us this summer,” says Coach Toffey.  Indeed, the staff now consists of four qualified, dedicated, coaches.  Coach Gomes provides direction and experience to a staff of pitchers on the Senior team that has enjoyed success.  Several are headed to top tier Division I colleges.  “The pitchers will benefit from knowing there is a coach focused on their preparation, mechanics, and mindset,” adds Toffey.  Coach Brickley (who also runs the SAT Prep course for the team on the road) remarks, “Someone with Wayne’s background and knowledge is amazing for these kids.  And being a graduate of Old Dominion, he understands the value of heading to college.”

The Ruffnecks continue striving to enhance the experience for players in substantive ways.  Coach Toffey with the final word… “Playing tournaments, travel, and summer baseball is great, but we have focused and serious kids who have fun, and want to get better.  Coaching is important to these kids.  We are lucky to have Wayne join us.  I look forward to learning from him and watching the development of our pitchers.”

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Fall Baseball Notices

(Updated Friday, Nov. 16 at 2:00pm)

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENTS:

Ruffnecks Banquet
Monday, Nov. 19

6:00 - 6:30  Arrival and Mix
6:30 - 7:00  Dinner Served
7:00 - 8:15  Program
8:30             Evening Ends

Ruffnecks Banquet - Monday, Nov. 19

Click HERE to Download Registration Form

Ruffnecks Apparel & Fanwear

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